Royal College of Nursing takes safe staffing call to heart of government

Press Release 06/02/2020

Royal College of Nursing takes safe staffing call to heart of government

Nurses today took the voices of their colleagues and the public calling for action to fix the nursing workforce shortage in England to the heart of government.

Nursing staff arrived at Downing Street to hand in petitions totalling over 220,000 signatures from frontline health care staff, their patients, as well as members of the public calling for the nursing workforce shortage in England to remain the highest priority for the Government.

The call comes as the NHS in England operates under record vacancies, which have recently topped 44,000 for the first time, and follows a General Election pledge for 50,000 more nurses in the next five years.

The petition is part of the RCN’s Staffing for Safe and Effective Care campaign calling for a law to ensure there is accountability in Government and across the system for the health and care workforce.

Lesley Cain, a cancer patient who has had a mastectomy who joined the RCN in handing in the petition, said:

“As somebody who has needed the help of the NHS I have nothing but praise for the care I received. The nurses made sure I was comfortable and were there for me every step of the way. It was clear though that they were under the most incredible pressure and they simply did not have a moment to even take a break.

“I cannot imagine what this can be like and we must start to care for those who care for us. As a patient I can tell you that I can see the pressures and I feel it is time for government demonstrate real action before it is too late.”

Mike Adams, RCN Director for England, said:

“The voices of nurses and the public could not be clearer, resolving the nursing workforce shortage in England must remain the highest priority for the Government.

“We need there to be a legal responsibility to ensure there are enough nurses now and for the future to give safe and effective care to all of their patients.

“We urge the Government to listen to the voices of those we have taken to the steps of Downing Street and take urgent and decisive action to resolve the nursing workforce crisis in England.

Ends

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